Benchmade receives a significant amount of revenue from selling restricted-sales knives to the military and law enforcement. Benchmade produces a diverse selection of "auto", or switchblade knives, along with a range of hunting, fishing, utility and miscellaneous knives, however balisongs remain a core product.
Benchmade has a patent on the locking mechanism used in most of the switchblades they produce. Benchmade additionally holds an exclusive licence on use of the McHenry / Williams "AXIS Lock", a strong, spring operated locking mechanism used in both automatic and manual action models.
Benchmade has a long tradition of incorporating knife design from noted custom cutlery makers into their production models. These include Ernest Emerson, Allen Elishewitz, Mel Pardue, Bill McHenry, Neil Blackwood, Mike Snody, Jason Williams, Warren Osborne, and Bob Lum. Several production Benchmade models based on the work of these designers have become influential within the industry.
In recent years, Benchmade has ended its public relationship with Allen Elishewitz. Models incorporating his designs no longer carry the previous Elishewitz markings on the reverse of the blade.
One of the reasons Benchmade is located in Oregon —as are many other knife makers— is because Oregon has very relaxed laws towards knives in general and switchblades or butterfly knives specifically; there are no restrictions against selling a switchblade-style knife to an Oregon resident.